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Criminals Hide Payment-Card Skimmers Inside Gas Station Pumps
Security
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 18:40

From Dark Reading


Wave of recent bank-card skimming incidents demonstrate how sophisticated the scam has become

Criminals hid bank card-skimming devices inside gas pumps -- in at least one case, even completely replacing the front panel of a pump -- in a recent wave of attacks that demonstrate a more sophisticated, insidious method of stealing money from unsuspecting victims filling up their gas tanks.



Some 180 gas stations in Utah, from Salt Lake City to Provo, were reportedly found with these skimming devices sitting inside the gas pumps. The scam was first discovered when a California bank's fraud department discovered that multiple bank card victims reporting problems had all used the same gas pump at a 7-Eleven store in Utah.

Card skimming has been on the rise during the past year, with most attackers rigging or replacing merchant card readers with their own sniffer devices or ATM machines. The devices typically include a scanner, transmitter, camera, and, most recently, Bluetooth- or wireless-enabled links that shoot the stolen data back to the bad guys.

A similar attack occurred with a rigged ATM machine last year in Las Vegas during the Defcon hacker show: Security researcher Chris Paget lost $200 to an ATM machine in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino that appeared to be operating normally, but failed to spit out cash. The U.S. Secret Service was investigating the incident, and it was unclear whether the machine was outfitted internally with a skimming device or had been tampered with for someone to grab the cash withdrawals at a later time.

Bruce Schneier, CTO for BT Counterpane and author of the Schneier on Security blog, says attackers in Europe are also moving skimming devices inside gas pumps as a way to avoid detection. He says the perpetrators could be insiders, but it's unclear. "The moral is that they are getting better and better at this," Schneier says.

Organized criminal gangs might be behind some of these attacks, he adds "Obviously, they are well-funded," Schneier says.     [More....] [Comments...]

 

 

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